"I was in need..."
Each Sunday throughout January we gave blankets to those in need. This year was no exception for the cold weather in Central Mexico. San Luis Potosi is 6,500 feet above sea level and the winter nights get extremely cold here in the arid desert of Mexico. The challenge was for each church family to look for a person in need. Again that is not hard to find, as many people live in the streets, downtown parks and abandoned buildings of San Luis Potosi. Jesus gave a service test ! Matthew 25: 35-40 Look for those in need of food, a cup of water, clothes to keep warm, visit those that are sick and in prison. It's a humbling experience to serve those most in need. How did our church family do now that the winter weather is coming to a close? Better than expected. Jose is challenging us all to keep our focus (2020 Vision) not on ourselves, but on others.
Our annual winter Bazaar saw young and old alike, happy to see the doors of the mission open up (Feb. 3-6), so they could chose the clothes and shoes that fit them perfectly.
Plans are to do a test run for a soup kitchen here in the inner city some time this spring. This will take our Matthew 4:4 food project one step further to those in need of a warm meal. All of this kind of service takes the focus off of our needs and places it on the needs of others.
Inside the mission, things are going well as we continue to update and provide for others. The boys that live within the mission help in so many ways, but our financial resources are limited to help them. Pablo has taken on a full time job while studying full time at the University.
We are happy to report the tires were replaced in January on the van. Just in time for some long distance trips coming up soon. The repairs continue with the vehicles and we are doing some much needed repairs and remodeling in the kitchen this winter. Hopefully by early summer the work will be completed as many meals come out of this area of the mission each week, especially on the weekends.
Another area of need is Internet. Without Internet, the boys are limited with their studies. The need is for more monthly support in this area for homework, but also to better communicate with you.
I have often written and said that missions is "not about the missionary, but the mission work they carry out." The mission work provided by Emanuel Mexico Mission, is about: Serving Others, Making Disciples, Helping the Poor and Needy and Giving a Blanket to Someone in Need ! The Ontañon Church of Christ, Counseling Center, Leadership Training Seminars and Caring for the Boys in the Mission are all about seeing the needs of others before ourselves.
God bless you as you are giving and supporting a ministry to the inner city of San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Emanuel Mexico Mission is a light to many and a place of hope to those most in need.
David and Sheri DeBolt
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Valley Missions Outreach:
Greetings once again from Mexico. Your continued support is an example of the light that shines in each one of you. Your gifts and prayers are what encourages us to keep the light shining in the inner city of San Luis Potosi. With the New Year, brings new opportunities to share the gospel message.
The boys living in the home continue their studies and help with the cleaning of the mission. They help set up for the leadership workshops each Saturday and for the church services on Sundays. It's a big facility and there is always something taking place each day within the mission.
The counseling center continues to be one of the biggest outreaches to the local churches and others.
Our theme for 2020, is just that, 2020 Vision. We are to focus our thoughts and energies on "things above". Hebrews 12:2
God bless you for your constant prayers and gifts of encouragement to keep the mission work moving forward.
David and Sheri
Visa Wars: A New Hope
Dear Praying Friends,
Many of you may have read in our last newsletter that we were hoping to be able to return to E's birth country as a family. I (S) have not been allowed in that country since 2012. Very recently, we have contacted a Christian lawyer there, "Phil", who has successfully helped others with similar visa troubles.
There are several things that Phil will do for us. First, he will seek to discover whether I am still banned or not. Second, he will find out whether my 15-year visa has been cancelled or not. Third, if the ban remains and/or my visa is cancelled, he will argue in court that those actions were unjustified and fight to get the ban removed and my visa re-instated.
Phil has won cases like ours, arguing that the government of this country has banned people on false grounds, with no evidence, and against their own laws. He can't guarantee a win, of course. That's where prayer comes in!
Please pray with us, that:
- God will grant success to Phil in his efforts on our behalf
- The courts will decide justly, according to their own laws
- I may know that I can (or can't) enter E's birth country within about a year, so that we can act accordingly before our furlough in about June 2021. It would be so much easier if we could start furlough knowing clearly which direction God is taking us.
We leave it all in God's hands. Thank you so much for your regular prayers for us and our ministry. We hope to have good news to share in future updates. Happy New Year!
Blessings in Christ,
20/20 Vision - Vision 2020
As we enter into a new year, we have our eyes clearly focused and our vision clearly set! Hebrews 12:2, says "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus".
With the help of many in 2019, we were able to revive and rebuild the mission for what it was established to do. "Make disciples, baptize them and teach them." Matthew 28:19-20. During 2019, we fed the hungry, counseled those in need, cared for the abandoned and abused, provided countless opportunities for spiritual growth amongst our church leaders and more.
Emanuel, Emmanuel, Immanuel are all spelled differently, but carry the same meaning "God With Us" Matthew 1:23 And He was certainly with us during 2019.
Today we continue to care for youth on a 24/7 basis. The Ontañon church is more focused than ever to continue to teach and disciple. Workshops and seminars are providing the help church leaders need to be the men and women that the Church of Christ needs today.
Last year is gone and now we have 365, new opportunities to grow and reach people with the message of Jesus Christ. Changes are not always welcome, but are necessary for growth. The physical work of restoring the facility continues, but our main focus is not on the material, but on the spiritual.
Work is being done to establish the Emanuel School of Missions and Ministry, inside the facility of Emanuel Mexico Mission. A survey was taken of all Church of Christ ministers in San Luis Potosi and one of the outstanding aspects of the survey showed that 75%, of the ministers have to work a full time or part time job to provide for their families and ministries.
Providing a place for them to learn, with updated resources and teachers highly capable to teach will help build better leaders and a stronger church body in San Luis Potosi. Classes will begin in August and hours will be from 6:00p.m. - 10:00 p.m., Tuesday to Friday. During the next 8 months, 3 different week long seminars will be held to introduce the subjects and materials to be given.
All the while we will continue to care for young people in need of a home under the same roof of E.M.M. Provide the counseling needed from our counseling center for the area churches and those in need. The Ontañon Church of Christ will continue to use the facility for Bible studies, worship services and youth events. What I have just outlined is a need to be filled, not a dream or a goal of anyone person or persons. For the last 30 weeks, our leadership workshops provided leaders the opportunity to simply learn and they are asking for more opportunities to grow spiritualy.
Jose continues to take on more responsibilities inside the mission, as well as his full time responsibility at the Ontañon Church of Christ and is taking the lead role in this new opportunity for a school of missions and ministry.
20/20 Vision - Vision 2020 is not a theme or a title and not to be taken lightly. It is a responsibility for both you and I to set our vision clearly on Jesus Christ. Set our focus and set our thoughts not on what was or could have been, but on what we can accomplish together for the Church of Christ today.
Our financial base is set, we now need it to grow so we can reach the inner city and beyond with the life saving message of Jesus Christ. In the coming weeks, if you would like to help buy a tire (4) for the van, restore the baptistery, repair the main roof, continue to help repair the plumbing needs, refinish the kitchen, help us provide a Sunday School class for a church in Oaxaca, provide transportation for Jose, provide funds for the teachers and staff we will have or provide for the needs of the youth living in the mission. Send your gift for a specific need or opportunity for us to maintain the facility and its ministry outreach in its best condition.
Hebrews 12:2 clearly says "Fix your eyes on Jesus", 2020, is upon us and there is no turning back the clock to 2019, Our vision is set on 2020, to be a year of new opportunities. A year where people can see that Emanuel Mexico Mission is serious about what they are doing. And what is that? "Make Disciples, baptize them and teach them." 20/20 Vision - Vision 2020 "Fix your eyes on Jesus".
Emanuel Mexico Mission
Iglesia Cristiana en Ontañon
Merry Christmas from Agapé Paris! Thank you as always for your love, prayers, and support as God changes the lives of students in Paris. I hope you enjoy the photo of the 33 students that attended our Thanksgiving event (left), as well as the photos and stories of two students (Malek, middle; Feds, right) who have accepted Jesus as their Lord this year!
A Thrill of Hope
These stories are from my teammate Emily, who wanted to share what she witnessed God do in the lives of these two students.
Malek: "Josh and I were on one of our campuses a couple weeks ago, going around doing Perspective Cards with students. We met and went through Perspective Cards with two friends, Malek and Amel. Malek could speak English well, but Amel couldn't. Malek translated most of the cards and our conversation for her friend. She was super excited to be able to do so and to talk with us about our perspectives. Even though we were running out of time, we were able to share the gospel with Malek. Our focus quickly turned to Malek as she expressed interest and desire in knowing who Jesus is. We got to share with her who is He and what He has done for us. We shared the seeker's prayer and prayer to believe, which she said expressed the desire of her heart. Then, she prayed to receive Christ!"
Prayer Requests for Malek: Please pray that Josh and I would be able to meet up with Malek and Amel soon (preferable in the beginning of January) and follow up with Malek's decision to accept Christ. Pray that Malek's decision to accept Jesus into her heart would grow into a relationship with our Lord and Savior. Pray that Malek and Amel would be about to have more conversations themselves about faith in Jesus.
Federica (Feds): "Sydney and I met Federica, or Feds on one of our campuses a couple months ago. Feds is from England and has been studying this fall in Paris. Feds had just started to take an interest in God, wanting to learn more about Him and the Bible. Over the last couple months, Sydney and I have been meeting up with Feds, having spiritual conversations and really building a relationship with her. Feds came to the conclusion that she believed in God and could see that God was working in her life. But, for a while she was not sure if she was ready to put her faith in Him. But after more consideration, she decided not to wait any longer, and to make room for Jesus in her heart and to trust Him with her life!"
Prayer Requests for Feds: Please pray that Feds could grow in her desire to make God the top priority in her life, and that she would continue to grow and learn in who God is and what it means to have a relationship with Him. Pray that she would be able to find Christ-centered community as she studies in Italy in the spring.
Once again, Merry Christmas! I'm praying for you this season-- may God bless you and fill your heart with joy and peace.